Air passenger fuel surcharge: criminal cartel investigation

Office of Fair Trading (OFT) closed criminal cartel case.

Concluded prosecutions: R-v- George, Crawley, Burns and Burnett

Defendant Commencement of proceedings Outcome Sentence
Martin George August 2008 Prosecution offered no evidence N/A
Andrew Crawley August 2008 Prosecution offered no evidence N/A
Iain Burns August 2008 Prosecution offered no evidence N/A
Alan Burnett August 2008 Prosecution offered no evidence N/A

December 2011

On 8 November the OFT announced that it had completed its review of the conduct of Virgin Atlantic Airways (‘VAA’) in connection with the OFT’s criminal investigation and proceedings in relation to airline passenger fuel surcharges. The purpose of the review was to decide whether VAA’s conduct in that matter fell short of its immunity obligations (as set out in its Immunity Agreement and the OFT’s published guidance) such as to warrant the revocation of its immunity in the OFT’s civil administrative proceedings in relation to airline passenger fuel surcharges.

In the specific circumstances of the present case, the OFT has decided that the conduct in question that potentially raised, or raised, concerns did not amount to non co-operation such as to warrant the revocation of VAA’s immunity. VAA co-operated with the OFT’s review. Whilst VAA does not agree with all of the factual findings which form the basis of the OFT’s conclusions, it welcomes the outcome of the review.

December 2010

On 17 December 2010 the OFT published a report summarising the findings and recommendations of an OFT Board-led review into the events leading up to the collapse of the criminal trial in R v Burns and others, the response of the executive management of the OFT and the Board’s conclusion (pdf 140kb).

May 2010

On 10 May 2010 the prosecution offered no evidence following which the judge directed the jury to acquit all four defendants.

Further information

Further information is available on The National Archives website.

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